[K:JNWTS 28/2 (September 2013): 32]

Calvin on Job 41:2 [41:11]/Romans 11:35

. . . let us mark also that by these words,[1] all the righteousness of men is beaten down and it is shown us that all we can ever imagine concerning merit or deserving of works is but a drunkenness of Satan . . . (“Sermon CLVI on Job [40:20-41:25],” in Sermons of Maister Iohn Caluin, upon the Booke of Job [1574/1993] 735).

. . . no one has God under obligation to himself by his merits. . . Who can boast of any work of his own by which he has merited God’s favour? . . . Not only do we deserve no favour from Him, but we are more than worthy of eternal death. Paul concludes that God owes us nothing on account of our corrupt and depraved nature, and also asserts that, even if man were perfect, he could bring nothing to God by which to procure His favour . . . (Calvin’s New Testament Commentaries: Epistles of Paul to the Romans and Thessalonians [on Rom. 11:35] [1961] 8:260, 261).

[1] “Who will prevent me, and I will satisfy him?”—which is Job 41:2 in Calvin’s version (p. 731) and to be identified with Job 41:11 in our modern versions which read: “Who has given to me that I should repay him?” Calvin notes (p. 734) that Paul uses this passage in Romans 11:35 which reads, in our modern versions: “Or who has first given to him [God] that it might be paid back to him [sinful man] again?”